NCCC responds to COVID-19 crisis

March 12, 2020 (updated 3-17)


NCCC suspends classes starting Mar. 16, plans shift to online instruction beginning Mar. 30

UPDATE: Visit if you have questions about the college's COVID-19 response plan.

SARANAC LAKE – Since late-February, a task force of North Country Community College administrators, faculty and staff has been meeting to monitor the impacts of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and develop and implement precautions, plans and protocols for our campus communities.North Country Community College President Joe Keegan outlines the college’s plans for the COVID-19 crisis to faculty and staff at a meeting March 12 at the college’s Saranac Lake campus

The goal of these efforts, which have followed the guidance and recommendations of the State University of New York, the New York State Department of Health and the Essex and Franklin county public health departments, has been to protect the health of our students, faculty, staff and communities.

In keeping with that directive and the guidance issued Wednesday by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and SUNY to maximize distance learning and reduce in-person classes, and out of an abundance of caution, the college will suspend all classes beginning Monday, March 16, 2020.  Spring Break, which is scheduled to run from March 21st through March 29th, 2020 will continue as planned. Following the conclusion of spring break, classes will resume on March 30 using a modified delivery system in which classes are offered online as much as possible for the rest of the semester.

“We understand that this may pose some challenges and hardships for some in our community and, where we can, we are committed to helping each other out,” said NCCC President Joe Keegan. “One of the greatest strengths of North Country is the incredible community of students, faculty and staff we have. Our highest priority is the health and safety of our campus community and it is with that in mind that we have taken these steps.”

The following plan was communicated to the college community earlier today:


The week of March 16, 2020

  • Classes for the week of March 16th will be suspended, but all campuses of the college will be open.
  • Faculty and staff will continue to report to work and plan for distance learning for the remainder of the semester. This includes remote Learning Assistance Center and Library services.
  • Students in the residence halls on the Saranac Lake campus will be permitted to remain in their rooms. Food service will continue to be provided, however, it will only be available via takeout/delivery. (Updated 3-17)
  • The college will work to identify and assist faculty and students needing support to transition to online learning.
  • The college’s libraries and LACs are closed to the public, students, faculty and staff. (Updated 3-17)
  • The Sparks Athletic Complex facilities (including the pool, gym and fitness center) are closed to the public and students, faculty and staff. (Updated 3-17)

The week of March 23, 2020

  • The college will be on its previously scheduled spring break.
  • The residence halls will close as planned at the end of the day on March 20, 2020. Staff will help accommodate those students currently residing at the residence halls in need of housing during spring break.
  • Faculty and staff who are contractually scheduled to be off during break will be away.
  • College officials will continue their work to support a transition to online learning.
  • The college’s libraries and LACs will be closed to the public and to students, faculty and staff. (Updated 3-17)
  • The Sparks Athletic Complex facilities (including the gym, pool and fitness center) will be closed to the public and students, faculty and staff.

The week of March 30, 2020

  • Classes will resume on a modified delivery system with most classes being offered via distance learning. 
  • LACs will begin remote tutoring.
  • Residence halls will reopen for students on Sunday, March 29th, 2020 and food service will resume then as well. 

Additional notes:

  • Large gatherings, including program and campus advisory board meetings, the annual Phi Theta Kappa ceremony and similar events will be cancelled.
  • The Student Massage Clinic will closed until further notice.
  • Student activities will be cancelled for the rest of the semester.
  • No decision has been made at this time on Commencement, Student Awards and Nursing Pinning Ceremonies.
  • Students, faculty and staff who plan to travel out of the area are asked to complete a Travel Reporting Form via the college’s website,

The college encourages students, faculty, staff and the community to monitor for additional updates.